mally biddle

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten”

Hello , Melissa, and welcome to our little corner of the blogosphere! I’d like to start with the statement above about fairy tales. What do you think?
I think it's beautiful and empowering.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Oddly enough it was my mom who suggested the profession. I was busily penning my first novel and telling her all about it when she asked, "Melissa what do you want to do when you grow up?" (I was probably 15 at the time.) I said, "I don't know." (And I really didn't.) She then said, "Why don't you be a writer?" The question rather blew me away. It had never dawned on me that I could be a writer. But it was so obvious. I haven't looked back since.

Have you ever been very fond, obsessed even, by a fictional character?
Oh yes. It took me a long time to figure out the whole reading is cool thing. But the books that did it for me was the Harry Potter series. I was obsessed with Harry to the point of spending my free time daydreaming about what could possibly happen next. And when I say daydreaming, I mean I played out whole scenes and conversations between characters.  

Can alternate worlds in fantasy books help us face the reality?
I think this refers a lot to your quote earlier. Fantasy is a wonderful way for us to fight our demons in both literal and figurative fashion. When you strip away the dragons and the knights, you find yourself with perhaps a bully and a friend. So much of the turmoil or adventures that we face in our own lives are similar to those that our fictional heros face. When you boil down my own work, for instance, the stuff left are the common, ever day struggles that we face, choices that we make, learning to love, finding friendships, and living with hope. These themes are everywhere, including fantasy.

YA fiction is a very successful market. Fantasy sagas like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, or    supernatural romances  like Twilight started the era of franchise and blockbuster movie adaptations.  What’s your opinion on the phenomenon?  Would you like to see your books on screen?
I think it's wonderful. I write in the genre that I do because I love it, and it's an added bonus to be able to look up to such great works. The greatest thing about turning a book into a movie is to see the written word become firmly visual: The setting, the characters, the clothing. I can only speak for myself, but my own imagination doesn't care too much over the details of the picture I'm writing. But a movie is all about the visual details and that gives me great satisfaction. I think I'd fall out if one of my books became a movie. Not only would I be insanely flattered, but incredibly protective. I'd want to make sure my baby was taken good care of.

What are sagas, books, authors you are fond of as a reader?
Well I already mentioned Harry Potter. I'm also a fan of Sarah Waters and Susanna Clarke.

Now, to your book, “The Tale of Mally Biddle”. What fantasy world  is it inspired to? What kind of supernatural characters /events  can the reader expert?
I didn't use a historical time period, but the setting is inspired greatly by Ireland, Scotland and England. Actually, those three bits of land are the backdrop of ALL my fiction. I find the landscape to be utterly magical. I love writing with an old world vibe, accompanied with candlesticks and cloaks, horse-drawn carriages and food like beef and kidney pie.

Which element is prevailing? Romance or adventure?
Adventure is just a little ahead of Romance.

What is Mally, your heroine, like?
Mally is adventurous. She's also daring and often 'does' before 'thinking', which gets her into trouble. The part about her that I liked playing with the most was her blind enthusiasm and how it backfires. Mally is also incredibly brave. Far braver than me. Deep down, she's a self-sacrificer.

Does she resemble you in anything?
Our temperaments are very similar, but like I said above -- she beats me out big time on bravery. I think Mally is who I'd like to be.

How would you present “The Tale of Mally Biddle” to our readers using about 50 words?
This book has a festive, fun feel. There is a lot of feasting and hot chocolate drinking and mushroom (the edible kind) gathering. Mally is seventeen. The book centers around her agreeing to help a group of rebels find the long lost heir to the throne .

Thanks a lot, Melissa, for taking the time to answer my questions.  Best wishes   and good luck in your life and writing career.

Thank you. It was my pleasure.

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The Tale of Mally Biddle by M.L. LeGette 
When Mally Biddle agreed to spy upon the King of Lenzar and his overbearing knights she knew she was heading into danger. She didn't know she'd find a family unlike any other. Posing as a servant in Bosc Castle, Mally serves tea and tends fires for the most dangerous men in the kingdom. Her goal is to learn the truth of what happened sixteen years ago, when the infant princess met her death ... a death that is surrounded by more questions than answers. Along her search for the truth, Mally meets the energized Lita Stump, the strict and matriarchal Meriyal Boyd, and the opinionated Archibald Diggleby. Then of course there are the knights: Leon Gibbs who is slicker than a greased hog, Adrian Bayard, hot tempered and violent, and the worst of the lot: Sir Illius Molick, Captain of the Knights. And then there is Maud, a mysterious woman who just might know everything...

Praise "To say I loved this book is an understatement. Mally is a wonderful character and she encounters so many quirky folks on her assignment. Very well written and engaging story! And an added bonus of a love triangle! I enjoyed it from beginning to end!! I will definitely be looking for more from this author!" ~April Holgate   

Author Melissa LeGette Melissa LeGette lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright. The Tale of Mally Biddle is her second novel.
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1 comment:

Prue Batten said...

I'm sure i read somewhere recently that Tolkein said the power of fantasy lay in its ability to help the reader beard their own dragons. I've searched for the actual quote and can't find it. It's well known that i love hist.fantasy as much as I love hist.fiction so I shall watch Melissa's rise with pleasure. Thanks MG, for a good interview.